Ballarat Line upgrades underway

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 20 Nov 2017 12:49
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
According to this media release
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/191022-Cobblebank-Station-To-Open-In-Early-December.pdf?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news
Cobblebank station and the 18 km section of extra track between Melton and Caroline Springs will open on Monday 2 December.

Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?
bevans
The article didn't say which year it'll be opening, but if it's 2019 I'd say no, however, if it's in a few years time then there's every possibility that sparks will run to Cobblebank.

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  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Are the 2 new peak services going to extend all the way to Ballarat ? or will these be part of
the Melton services ?

Also I thought V/Line need to do driver testing/training over all these new sections which
will take a few weeks..
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?
Bevans
Are we to assume you didn't read the short press release you re-quoted that contains the answers you seek?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

PTV and V/line haven't updated December timetables yet...  Although I imagine they will soon.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Also I thought V/Line need to do driver testing/training over all these new sections which
will take a few weeks..
whoistheg
Past practice with V/Line is usually they drop in a pilot driver somewhere, say Melton, then let them off when the section is over, say Caroline Springs, and those pilots just shuttle back and forwards all day. Though that might just be for when a signal is changed, and not an entirely new signal.

I think it is something like 3 non-revenue and 3 revenue runs a driver has to do through a section to be qualified for it, though I am more than happy to be corrected on that.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Cobblebank updates

bevans

This got me thinking about how annoying yet another stop on the Ballarat line will be, particularly on weekends and off-peak times and I guess the only consolation will be the elimination of the occasional crosses at Caroline Springs and the usual timed crosses at Rockbank due to the implementation of double line working in 6 weeks or so.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to this media release
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/191022-Cobblebank-Station-To-Open-In-Early-December.pdf?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news
Cobblebank station and the 18 km section of extra track between Melton and Caroline Springs will open on Monday 2 December.

Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?
The article didn't say which year it'll be opening, but if it's 2019 I'd say no, however, if it's in a few years time then there's every possibility that sparks will run to Cobblebank.
Gauntlet

I did but could not find any references to Metro services being extended to Melton.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

According to this media release
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/191022-Cobblebank-Station-To-Open-In-Early-December.pdf?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news
Cobblebank station and the 18 km section of extra track between Melton and Caroline Springs will open on Monday 2 December.

Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?
bevans
Not unless Metro wants to whack a big genset into their sparks
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?
Bevans

The line to Melton has been duplicated. Not Electrified.

Cobblebank station has nothing to do with Metro. Cobblebank will open in December as a V/Line station, currently there is no solid commitment to electrify to Melton and hand that line over to Metro.

We do but live in hope.

This got me thinking about how annoying yet another stop on the Ballarat line will be, particularly on weekends and off-peak times
Vinelander
I agree, another stop on the Ballarat line is not what was needed. What is desperatly needed is more local Melton/ Bacchus Marsh services along with more express Ballarat services (running express from the Marsh to Sunshine).

Weekends are hell on the Ballarat line. Particularly during the footy season. Regularly when there is a big game on (which is most weekends from March to September), Melbourne bound 6 car Vlocity trains are close to capacity by the time they leave your neck of the woods. By the time they get to Melton, V/Line often have to arrange for coaches for Melton pax who can't squeeze on to the train.

The only answer for the Ballarat line is more trains more often.

Just 1 more train in each peak period is pathetic to be honest.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Just 1 more train in each peak period is pathetic to be honest.
Gman_86
Agreed, but there’s not much to be done – that’ll take the RRL up to what, 18tph? Not sure it can handle much more than that without total collapse.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Are we to assume this will also mean the introduction of Metro trains on this section?

The line to Melton has been duplicated. Not Electrified.

Cobblebank station has nothing to do with Metro. Cobblebank will open in December as a V/Line station, currently there is no solid commitment to electrify to Melton and hand that line over to Metro.

We do but live in hope.

This got me thinking about how annoying yet another stop on the Ballarat line will be, particularly on weekends and off-peak times
I agree, another stop on the Ballarat line is not what was needed. What is desperatly needed is more local Melton/ Bacchus Marsh services along with more express Ballarat services (running express from the Marsh to Sunshine).

Weekends are hell on the Ballarat line. Particularly during the footy season. Regularly when there is a big game on (which is most weekends from March to September), Melbourne bound 6 car Vlocity trains are close to capacity by the time they leave your neck of the woods. By the time they get to Melton, V/Line often have to arrange for coaches for Melton pax who can't squeeze on to the train.

The only answer for the Ballarat line is more trains more often.

Just 1 more train in each peak period is pathetic to be honest.
Gman_86


I agree with more trains on the Ballarat line and the one token extra is just the start...most likely, conveniently before the next election there will be a total revamp of the Ballarat timetable with additional express services on weekends etc.

At this time there are the occasional 'big game' football specials that operate to bank up the existing timetable. But for now...it's stopping all stations at off peak times and weekends.

Mike.
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
As someone who uses the line daily for the past 7 year to start off we only really need 1 more AM and 1 more PM service.

a 6:50am from Wendouree to SCS, which should get to SCS approx 8:15ish
a 1720/17:25/17:30 from SCS to Wendouree express to BM and then stops to Wendouree ,

The current 40min gap from 17:10 to 17:50 is just too much. Giving people who work 9-5 10min to get to SCS or wait 50min
is crap.

Get these 2 services to start off with and then look at additional ones

Even better take the 17:19 Melton and BM, make it a BM express and then on to Ballan, Ballarat and Wendouree.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Agreed, but there’s not much to be done – that’ll take the RRL up to what, 18tph? Not sure it can handle much more than that without total collapse.
Currently, in the afternoon peak, for all 3 lines that use the RRL (Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo) there are a total of 14 trains per hour (1600 - 1659), then 16 trains per hour (1700 - 1759). This dramatically drops off after 6pm to 7 trains per hour (1800 - 1859).

On the Ballarat line for instance, the PM peak direction timetable is as follows:
1516    Wendouree
1537    Melton
1600    Wendouree
1610    Bacchus Marsh
1633    Wendouree/ Maryborough
1635    Melton
1654    Wendouree
1700    Melton
1710    Wendouree
1719    Bacchus Marsh
1735    Bacchus Marsh
1750    Wendouree
1759    Bacchus Marsh
1823    Ararat
1917    Wendouree

What is this? 1998? PM peak hour pretty much runs from 3pm to 7pm now. Anybody want to see the sardine express? Just try and catch the 1917 to Wendouree. Typically the platform at Southern Cross is packed for that train before it even arrives, forget about trying to get a seat, just getting on it is good enough.

A 1725 Wendouree wouldn't go astray, neither would another Bacchus Marsh local at about 1840. And that is just for a start.

Also, running the 1537 Melton every day as it's supposed to would help a bit too, it is among the most cancelled trains on the V/Line network, often cancelled as many as 10 days per month. In fact, this itself highlights another problem. There are too many days that services are cancelled or scaled back to just a single 3 car Vlocity unit instead of the usual 2 putting more and more stress on the already strained services. So maybe there is still a rollingstock shortage even though V/Line have more trains at their disposal than ever.

That said, in my opinion with reliability put aside, the biggest issues are not actually the peak period, but either side of the peak period, late nights and the weekends. Here the timetable has hardly changed since the RFR opened.

I agree with more trains on the Ballarat line and the one token extra is just the start...most likely, conveniently before the next election there will be a total revamp of the Ballarat timetable with additional express services on weekends etc.

At this time there are the occasional 'big game' football specials that operate to bank up the existing timetable. But for now...it's stopping all stations at off peak times and weekends.
The next election is another 3 years away. At the current and projected rate of land development between Caroline Springs and Bacchus Marsh, that is just too far to wait for a major timetable overhaul. The Western Freeway is already getting choked up most days, without the railway picking up the slack, the outer west is going to be a miserable place to live.

An even mix of Ballarat express and Bacchus Marsh/ Melton locals need to be an all day every day thing. Melton needs to be treated more like a metro service, even if V/Line are running it. The same goes for Wyndham Vale by the way. Don't bother with just running the odd extra footy train, just run more trains all the time.

Don't think it is viable? Just take the weekday inter-peak Bacchus Marsh locals now, they are getting healthy loadings all day, and are getting more popular all the time. Same as the 20 minute intervals on the Geelong line.

Build it and they will come, in fact they are screaming for it.

----

I get that currently the single line running severely limits how many trains can run (which is why there is also a 2 hour gap between services towards Melbourne in the afternoon), my point is that at least as far as Melton, that will no longer be an issue and I suppose I was hoping for a bit more than just the 1 extra peak service.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Agreed, but there’s not much to be done – that’ll take the RRL up to what, 18tph? Not sure it can handle much more than that without total collapse.
Currently, in the afternoon peak, for all 3 lines that use the RRL (Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo) there are a total of 14 trains per hour (1600 - 1659), then 16 trains per hour (1700 - 1759). This dramatically drops off after 6pm to 7 trains per hour (1800 - 1859).

On the Ballarat line for instance, the PM peak direction timetable is as follows:
1516    Wendouree
1537    Melton
1600    Wendouree
1610    Bacchus Marsh
1633    Wendouree/ Maryborough
1635    Melton
1654    Wendouree
1700    Melton
1710    Wendouree
1719    Bacchus Marsh
1735    Bacchus Marsh
1750    Wendouree
1759    Bacchus Marsh
1823    Ararat
1917    Wendouree

What is this? 1998? PM peak hour pretty much runs from 3pm to 7pm now. Anybody want to see the sardine express? Just try and catch the 1917 to Wendouree. Typically the platform at Southern Cross is packed for that train before it even arrives, forget about trying to get a seat, just getting on it is good enough.

A 1725 Wendouree wouldn't go astray, neither would another Bacchus Marsh local at about 1840. And that is just for a start.

Also, running the 1537 Melton every day as it's supposed to would help a bit too, it is among the most cancelled trains on the V/Line network, often cancelled as many as 10 days per month. In fact, this itself highlights another problem. There are too many days that services are cancelled or scaled back to just a single 3 car Vlocity unit instead of the usual 2 putting more and more stress on the already strained services. So maybe there is still a rollingstock shortage even though V/Line have more trains at their disposal than ever.

That said, in my opinion with reliability put aside, the biggest issues are not actually the peak period, but either side of the peak period, late nights and the weekends. Here the timetable has hardly changed since the RFR opened.

I agree with more trains on the Ballarat line and the one token extra is just the start...most likely, conveniently before the next election there will be a total revamp of the Ballarat timetable with additional express services on weekends etc.

At this time there are the occasional 'big game' football specials that operate to bank up the existing timetable. But for now...it's stopping all stations at off peak times and weekends.
The next election is another 3 years away. At the current and projected rate of land development between Caroline Springs and Bacchus Marsh, that is just too far to wait for a major timetable overhaul. The Western Freeway is already getting choked up most days, without the railway picking up the slack, the outer west is going to be a miserable place to live.

An even mix of Ballarat express and Bacchus Marsh/ Melton locals need to be an all day every day thing. Melton needs to be treated more like a metro service, even if V/Line are running it. The same goes for Wyndham Vale by the way. Don't bother with just running the odd extra footy train, just run more trains all the time.

Don't think it is viable? Just take the weekday inter-peak Bacchus Marsh locals now, they are getting healthy loadings all day, and are getting more popular all the time. Same as the 20 minute intervals on the Geelong line.

Build it and they will come, in fact they are screaming for it.

----

I get that currently the single line running severely limits how many trains can run (which is why there is also a 2 hour gap between services towards Melbourne in the afternoon), my point is that at least as far as Melton, that will no longer be an issue and I suppose I was hoping for a bit more than just the 1 extra peak service.
Gman_86
The previously announced intention when BLU fully completed is  40  minute Off Peak Weekdays,  two additional peak trips each way .

So Melton duplication is commissioned 01/12/19 and there is to be an additional  Up am Melton Peak trip and an additional Down PM Melton peak trip.
The rest of the BLU project gets commissioned in early 2020 and thats when the extra Ballarat peak return trip pair should come in, plus the Weekday 40 min Off Peak frequency, plus a REAL train to replace teh dreaded 1700  Up  Rubber Tyred Rail Motor.
  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon

The line to Melton has been duplicated. Not Electrified.

Cobblebank station has nothing to do with Metro. Cobblebank will open in December as a V/Line station, currently there is no solid commitment to electrify to Melton and hand that line over to Metro.

We do but live in hope.

Gman_86

Wasn't the electrification and duplication of the line to Melton a done deal?

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2146240.htm
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC

The line to Melton has been duplicated. Not Electrified.

Cobblebank station has nothing to do with Metro. Cobblebank will open in December as a V/Line station, currently there is no solid commitment to electrify to Melton and hand that line over to Metro.

We do but live in hope.

Wasn't the electrification and duplication of the line to Melton a done deal?

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2146240.htm
8077
It will happen. But it was never intended to be part of the RRV projects (which these works are a part of).
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I know we are getting a little off topic but what physically needs to be done before the line becomes electric ?

Do they need to complete Metro Tunnel ?
Im assuming they would need to build some big yards out the back of Melton to store trains ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I know we are getting a little off topic but what physically needs to be done before the line becomes electric ?

Do they need to complete Metro Tunnel ?
I'm assuming they would need to build some big yards out the back of Melton to store trains ?
whoistheg

No land available at Melton to store trains. The closest land is between Melton and Cobblebank OR at the Maddingley Sidings at Bacchus Marsh which has ample room to expand if necessary.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I know we are getting a little off topic but what physically needs to be done before the line becomes electric ?

Do they need to complete Metro Tunnel ?
I'm assuming they would need to build some big yards out the back of Melton to store trains ?

No land available at Melton to store trains. The closest land is between Melton and Cobblebank OR at the Maddingley Sidings at Bacchus Marsh which has ample room to expand if necessary.

Mike.
The Vinelander

With electrification mikght we see the wires run to Maddeningly for sparks and vline trains yards
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Driving from Geelong to Daylesford (via Anakie) yesterday through the railway crossing near Ballan on the C141 noted down from the crossing new overhead gantry being installed some 100m from the crossing.

Also of note on the southern side lots of earthworks and also partitioning from the running line.

I hope those signal gantries will not interfere with the eventual electrification of the line to Ballarat.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I know we are getting a little off topic but what physically needs to be done before the line becomes electric ?

Do they need to complete Metro Tunnel ?
I'm assuming they would need to build some big yards out the back of Melton to store trains ?

No land available at Melton to store trains. The closest land is between Melton and Cobblebank OR at the Maddingley Sidings at Bacchus Marsh which has ample room to expand if necessary.

Mike.

With electrification mikght we see the wires run to Maddeningly for sparks and vline trains yards
bevans

At the PTUA AGM last week, James Pinder, CEO of V/Line was discussing the Avon River bridge. He was also discussing at length the deficiencies of the Melton weir viaduct which he implied will need major works or replacement. No timeline was given.

Mike.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Driving from Geelong to Daylesford (via Anakie) yesterday through the railway crossing near Ballan on the C141 noted down from the crossing new overhead gantry being installed some 100m from the crossing.

Also of note on the southern side lots of earthworks and also partitioning from the running line.

I hope those signal gantries will not interfere with the eventual electrification of the line to Ballarat.
bevans
When we start using hydrogen powered electric trains, overhead gantries and wires will not be needed. The Alstrom train in Bremen, Germany, is only the beginning.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
This got me thinking about how annoying yet another stop on the Ballarat line will be, particularly on weekends and off-peak times and I guess the only consolation will be the elimination of the occasional crosses at Caroline Springs and the usual timed crosses at Rockbank due to the implementation of double line working in 6 weeks or so.

Well suck it up, because there'll be another two at least, at Thornhill Park and Deanside.


No land available at Melton to store trains. The closest land is between Melton and Cobblebank OR at the Maddingley Sidings at Bacchus Marsh which has ample room to expand if necessary.

There's a full metric sh1t-tonne available at Melton.

Ballarat users pay peanuts, so they should just get services as an extension from Melton - prove me wrong.

*Wyndham + Melton - RER style
*Airport + North - RER style
*Sunbury - metro picking up all the stops

There is not enough patronage from Ballarat to justify anything more.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I wasn't sure if it was a bus or a train this morning from Ballarat to Ararat but in fact they bothered to run a train despite suspension of service to Melbourne. Very few of us going outbound to Ararat at that time of morning though.

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